Maybe it was because of the mild temperatures we’d experienced on the Sunday, but this particular Monday felt especially cold. I was wearing a hoodie, and a windbreaker that I had packed for the rain showers that were in the afternoon’s forecast, but I was still rather uncomfortable most of the day.
It was May 8 and this was my latest photography trip with my good friend Mathieu Chiasson.
En route, we made a quick stop at an abandoned dam on the Kouchibouguac River. I’d noticed it many times before while driving by but had never bothered exploring it. A recent CBC News NB article describing it as one of New Brunswick’s first power-generating stations had renewed my interest.
I especially like the following image. It reminds me of a keyhole. And in that frame of mind, perhaps the felled tree is an attempt at picking the lock?
Our first stop at our destination was the urban neighbourhood of Chatham in Miramichi. Prior to 1995, when a municipal amalgamation created the city of Miramichi, Chatham was a town. I think the only times I expressly came to Chatham in the past was for sports, such as when I played hockey at the Lord Beaverbrook rink as a kid.
We parked by the riverfront. Mathieu was attracted by the bridge, but my interest locked in on a few elements from the boardwalk. I liked the curved shape of the railing and the contrast between its blue colour and the decking. When I got home and started processing the images, though, I was also attracted to their black and white treatment, which, emphasize the textures. I enjoyed the various responses I got from followers when I posted both images on Facebook.
I was also captivated by a single padlock that had been attached to the railing’s wire mesh and photographed it from a variety of perspectives. In a couple of the pictures, I used the river’s shoreline as an added stripe, parallel to the railing.
Then, it was time to warm up! We walked a few streets over to the Creative Grounds Café for hot beverages and a snack.
Following our break, we wandered about the quaint downtown and came across a narrow building that really fascinated us. As I was taking photographs of the front door, a couple approached us to say they were the owners of the little building and the adjacent O’Donaghues Irish Pub. It was closed for business on this Monday, but they offered, and we accepted, to take us for a tour of the establishment that still comprises many of the original building materials and architectural details. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to visit the interior of the smaller edifice, but we learned that it had served as a residence in the past. Today, it houses the pub’s office and dishpit. (When I read the previous sentence, I always read the last word as “dipshit”, for some reason! Am I the only one?)
Next, we headed west along the Miramichi River until we reached the old Morrissy Bridge. It’s been closed to traffic for 15 years, but apparently it’s still used by pedestrians, cyclists and the occasional motorcyclist. I took one step onto it, noticed that I could see the water below through the deck’s open-grating, and that was enough for me to turn around. I also saw an angler climbing over a gate that was (not so effectively) blocking the portion of the deck that used to be reserved for pedestrians. I had to look away. But I did see him again later, so he was fine.
Afterwards, we drove across the river to the urban neighbourhood of Newcastle. We passed by the Miramichi Civic Centre. As a kid, that’s the arena you wanted to be playing at. It was way nicer and warmer than the aforementioned Lord Beaverbrook arena, and it had spectator chair seating — instead of bleachers — not to mention a scoreboard hanging above centre ice. You felt like a pro playing hockey there! Nothing really caught our eye in Newcastle, and it started raining, so this seemed like a good time to have lunch.
Following a quick stop at Quesada Burritos & Tacos, we drove through the suburban neighbourhood of Douglastown and then over the Centennial Bridge back to Chatham.
From there, we drove eastward along the Miramichi River and made a stop at and hiked around Middle Island. I had never heard of this place before, but I’m looking forward to returning, hopefully this summer, once all the tree leaves are out. Perhaps then I’ll be more inspired to take photographs.
On the way back home, we stopped in Bouctouche to see the sunset. I snapped a few pictures, but nothing that I especially liked. But ultimately, it was still another pleasant photography trip.
Every time I start writing one of these, I question whether I should since I already post photos on Instagram and Facebook. But then I’m reminded that many of you don’t use social media. Also, this medium allows me to share more images, some of which may not be “social media worthy”, but that tell an interesting story nonetheless. And I enjoy writing. So, thanks for reading, and until next time!
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